A parent’s guide to cord blood banking
As a parent, you just want what is best for your children and for your family. You are constantly striving to give them the best life possible – educating them, protecting them, and showing them how to enjoy life to the fullest.
That is why, when parents hear about cord blood banking and the health benefits it can offer to both their children and their family, they are immediately curious to learn more. We have put together a guide for parents to outline what cord blood banking is, how it can be used, and how to actually go through the process of banking.
Read on for the complete parent’s guide to cord blood banking!
- DO RESEARCH & ASK QUESTIONS. The very first thing you should do and probably the most important is to learn everything you can about cord blood banking pros and cons so you can make the most informed decision. Start by asking the basic questions, which we have answered for you below:
- WHAT IS CORD BLOOD BANKING? Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and storing your baby’s umbilical cord blood at the time of birth. The stem cells from the umbilical cord blood are collected immediately after the baby is born and the cells are shipped to a lab where they are stored for future medical use.
- WHY IS CORD BLOOD IMPORTANT? Cord blood contains stem cells that are unique because they have not yet developed into specific types of cells, meaning that they have the potential to become a variety of cells that serve different functions in the body. Here’s the catch – stem cells can only be collected at the time of birth, so you only have one chance to save these highly valuable cells!
- HOW CAN CORD BLOOD BE USED? Because of the unique nature of stem cells, they can be used to treat over 80 diseases and disorders, including certain forms of leukemia, lymphomas, and anemias. The hematopoietic stem cells found in cord blood (called HSCs) are a 100% genetic match to the baby, have a 25% chance of perfectly matching a sibling, and have a 50% chance of partially matching a sibling or parent. So, should your baby or a family member ever need a stem cell transplant, there is a good chance that they will already have a match ready for use.
- WHAT ABOUT CORD TISSUE AND PLACENTA TISSUE BANKING? In addition to banking cord blood, Americord also offers cord tissue and placenta tissue banking. Cord tissue is a 100% genetic match to the baby and placenta tissue cells are a 100% genetic match to the mother, so banking these cells offers even more benefits for your family’s health. These stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), can differentiate into many types of cells and tissues such as organ and muscle tissue, skin, bone, cartilage and fat cells. The potential uses are infinite!
- CHOOSE A BANK. After you feel knowledgeable on the topic of cord blood banking, it is time to choose which bank you will store your baby’s cord blood with. Some important factors to consider are the services each bank offers, the bank’s success rate and reviews, and the cost of banking and the pricing plans offered. Compare what each bank has to offer so that you are sure you are making the best decision for your family.
- Sign Up & Receive Kit. Once you have done all your research and have decided on a bank, the next step is to sign up. With Americord, it’s easy! You can enroll online or give us a call at 866-503-6005 and someone will assist you with any questions you have and walk you through the process of signing up. Now that you are enrolled, you will receive a collection kit in the mail. This kit includes instructions for the parents, instructions for your healthcare providers, and a data collection sheet along with cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue collection materials. Everything you need is in the box – and if your due date is within 4 weeks, we’ll overnight it to you at no additional charge.
- Have Baby! Grab your hospital bag (with your collection kit packed!) and head to the hospital to have your baby! Once the cord blood is collected, call the medical courier to come pick up your kit and bring it to our lab. Don’t panic – your baby’s stem cells are viable for up to 72 hours.
- Bring Baby Home. After the cord blood is collected and stored, you can bring your new bundle of joy home with the confidence that you have taken steps to ensure a healthier life for your baby and growing family. Your baby’s cord blood will remain safely in Americord’s lab for you to use should you ever need it.
Still have questions? Sign up for Americord’s Free Info Guide or speak with a cord blood specialist at 866-503-6005!